Coding for GOOD: Photos from the Hack-a-Thon

The three Coding for GOOD finalists: Brian Bonus, Ada Ng, Corey Speisman

This content was produced by GOOD with the support of Apollo Group

Last October, GOOD and Apollo Group announced the launch of Coding for GOOD, an opportunity to gain skills in coding and, for one lucky participant, a chance to work with us here at GOOD. The program is our effort to bridge the skills gap through real-world application.

Participants had eight weeks to take sixteen free coding lessons and submit a final project using the skills they learned by December 30, 2012. We announced our top three finalists on January 11, and this past weekend they flew to Los Angeles to compete in a two-day hack-a-thon at the Google offices. Our three contestants, Brian Bonus from Los Angeles; Ada Ng from Brooklynm NY; and Corey Speisman from Arlington, Virgina, were each paired with a member of the GOOD tech team to face off against other area developers. Speisman and Bonus, and their teammates took home prizes from Google for their hack-a-thon projects.

Take a look at images from their weekend, and be sure to check back on Wednesday when we announce the Coding for GOOD winner.

Ng and her teammates work on concepting their hack-a-thon project, a website that pitches two YouTube videos from the same category against each other and asks you to decide which you like best. Ng says, "I love collaborative environments…I found a giant whiteboard for us to all sketch together and figure it out."

Speisman (L) and GOOD software engineer, Ryan MacInnes (R), hard at work on their project, which was a web app where a user puts in their location and it returns YouTube videos of concerts in your area. It won them the Best Executed Web App award. "I went into the hack-a-thon with very little expectations. I had no idea what to expect and didn't realize how comfortable I would feel in a big group of professional coders and walked away with a ton of knowledge," says Speisman.

Bonus discusses plans with his teammates. Their project was an ed tech tool that would allow teachers to easily pull videos from YouTube to integrate into lessons, and allow students to interact with the material on the mobile devices. His team of five won the award for Best Teamwork.

Ng and GOOD software engineer, Dwayne Anderson, take a break.

Bonus and his teammates, including GOOD software engineer, Ben Callaway (L), work on their project. Says Bonus, "I was able to keep up to a certain extent with what [Ben was] doing, so that was kind of encouraging to know that I may not know [everything] but I’m still able to contribute in other ways to solve problems."

Speisman outside the hack-a-thon.
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less